Governor Glenn Youngkin and Congressman Morgan Griffith have announced that grant dollars are now available to assist those looking to develop projects in southwest Virginia. The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) received a sixth round of funding for the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program. The agency is now taking applications for proposals.
“We have big plans for southwest Virginia and this funding is a great way to build on economic successes that are underway and provide opportunity for those with innovative ideas for the economy,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “AMLER has contributed to projects which are directly improving the lives of Virginians.”
“The AMLER Program provides our communities in Southwest Virginia with opportunities to reuse old mine lands for new and exciting purposes. This federal funding that I have championed goes towards projects that will contribute to job creation, economic growth, and environmental renewal in the coalfields, improving the quality of life for its residents,” said Congressman Morgan Griffith.
Virginia Energy oversees the grant which comes from the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE). The OSMRE has final approval over recommended projects. Proposed projects should have the greatest potential to achieve economic develop goals in southwest Virginia’s coalfields and be proposed on land that includes features associated with coal mining that occurred before 1977.
Virginia Energy will accept Letters of Intent through June 2, 2023 and receive applications through July 14, 2023. Applications and information can be found via the Virginia Energy website and should be submitted electronically to Virginia Energy’s AMLER program at [email protected].
“We are already celebrating success through projects that have been created through this program,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “AMLER supports significant site development in this region which creates a successful path toward a more robust economy.”
“AMLER is unique in that it has the potential to make land available to developers that once was not,” said Virginia Energy Acting Director Will Clear. “A majority of the projects chosen for this funding also reclaim problems left behind by historic coal mining. So, we get the economic piece, an improvement in public safety and an environmental gain all through one program.”
Virginia Energy received the initial AMLER funding in 2017 and has continued to receive funding every year since. Those looking for places to propose projects can find an AML inventory on the Virginia Energy website that lists locations and features for each site. Virginia was one of six states chosen to receive this funding to develop Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites. This grant was part of the federal Omnibus Funding Bill.